Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Breakfast at Kalaghoda Cafe

Synonymous with bustling art scene and a steady stream of crowd, Kalaghoda also boasts of many eateries, some large, while some, small in a charming way; just like Kalaghoda Café (‘KGF’).

Non-descript arrival!
A non-descript board overshadowed by branch of a tree welcomes many a hungry soul, a steady stream of foreigners, the odd-couple looking for a place to relax and the art lover.  This café houses 4 to 5 tables on the ground level and a large table with big black couch at the attic level lined by the perfect white walls, a large painting and a notice board promoting art exhibitions and galleries.  On a regular day, many people must be rediscovering coffee and themselves at KGF, but the Sunday we chose to head to KGF was anything but regular.

The Café was overflowing with people.  Though we found a place to sit, on a table wedged between the cash-cum-order counter and the back-door at a right angle, it was not the best table to have.  The best table was the one in the attic, where dim orange lights set a perfect mood for a foreigner to indulge in some travel reading over a cup of coffee.

Another let-down was a large group of noisy grown-ups. They occupied most of the café, hogged the attention of all the three staff members of KGF, spoke incessantly of food while ordering and eating everything on the Menu and perhaps off it.  Luckily, they offered a lot of entertainment and eye candy!


As we settled down, I observed the hand-written board announcing today’s speciality – some sandwich, coffee, juice and a dessert – nothing to exciting. The menu card, with a plain brown cover page is also a drab.  Their menu is sparse and includes basic breakfast items including but not limited to eggs (in 5-6 varieties), cereals, waffles (3 variations), sandwiches (6-7 types), coffees, juices and some bakery/ dessert items.  We settled for one portion of cheese straws (kept in a large clear glass jar at the counter and yummy to look at!), one plate of Akhuri (parsi egg bhurji), Cheese omllette, pesto cheese tomato sandwich, chocolate waffle and one mug of hot chocolate.

We waited ten minutes, until we reminded the staff to serve us the cheese straws which were crunchy, had the perfect balance of cheese and body and a nice start to our breakfast.  Next came the chocolate waffles (I know, odd to eat them before other savoury items!), which were eggier than I expected but definitely better than a lot of waffles I had eaten, the choclate service in a small bowl was exceptional in quality!

Our savoury breakfast took forty-five minutes to arrive.  In between we discovered that the noisy bunch were part of a facebook group/ page called Pet Pujaris*.  Incidentally, we were supposed to join the same noisy Pet Pujaris to have breakfast at Suzette (Nariman Point), but we changed our mind and headed to KGF.  Maybe we were meant to meet the lively bunch headed by Sushil!  After a small introduction with the group and the usual exchange of pleasantries, we dove straight into our food.



The Akhuri was fluffy and perfectly flavoured, while the cheese omllette was too buttery, but tasty nevertheless.  Both these dishes were served with toasted bread, two halves of grilled tomatoes and a roundel of unsalted, grated potato.  The sandwich was barely warm and could do with a little more pesto to lift the flavour.  The hot chocolate (recommended by a friend), was my favourite.  I’m not a big fan of hot chocolate, so much so that I hardly think its worth ordering.  However, I may change my mind after enjoying the rich, dark flavour of the hot chocolate they served.


Overall, I recommend this place for the ambience (ensure it’s not crowded!), the good coffee (which I intend to try in my next visit) and friendly foreigners (one asked me if I would ask them for money If I took their pic, to which I replied, well, not every Indian is so weird!).  But when it comes to food, I would recommend Café Churchill, Moshes and Mondy’s, all located in the vicinity.

The breakfast for 3 set us back by Rs 750 (including all taxes) and a good two hours.  Go here with an open mind, a good book and lots of time in hand.

* Pet Pujari is a facebook group which meets thrice a month to try food joints across Mumbai. They do two dinners, one fatka dinner (expensive) and one kadka dinner event (meals under Rs 300).  Recently they had their first breakfast events at KGF and I believe thats going to be a regular event as well.


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